Carbohydrates And Glycemic Control

Do you have to be skinny to have good control? Not necessarily, according to a study at the University of Texas School of Allied Health Sciences in Galveston. Led by E. Ann Cabanas, researchers concluded that “consistent carbohydrate consumption in patients with type 2 diabetes is associated with improved glycemic control without regard to weight loss.”

The end-product in the metabolism of carbohydrates is glucose. Patients in the study were instructed on the assumption that carbohydrate exchanges, like fruit, milk, and starch cause an increase in blood glucose levels. Patients were told to eat meals of specific carbohydrate content at regular intervals, regardless of medication regimen. They were also instructed to lower fat intake and cut protein to a total of five to seven ounces per day. Vegetables were considered “free exchanges,” but subjects were advised to limit higher carbohydrate vegetables.

One hundred and one of 124 of the subjects, or 82%, experienced improved glycemic control.

}Before}After

Blood Glucose}202.0 mg/dl}147.0 mg/dl

Hemoglobin A1c}8.8 %}6.9 %

Cabanas writes, “Weight loss has been the cornerstone of diabetes therapy in type 2 individuals. The actual achievement of this goal, however, is unobtainable for many. Glycemic control is possible and should be encouraged in spite of persistent difficulty in achieving weight loss…Consistent carbohydrate intake may be a definite factor in glycemic control in the patient with type 2 diabetes, regardless of weight change.”

This research report was presented at the 22nd Annual Meeting and Educational Program of the AADE in Boston, August 1995.

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